The Four Coins

This trio is ready for action. Breakfast Action.

It’s a gloomy day in Tampa, this Halloween Eve.

Marek isn’t so much a young photog as a 4-year-old master of my smartphone. I’m equal parts amazed and annoyed that he can, for example, take this picture of me driving, despite the fact that I don’t think I ever actually showed him how to do it.

And he’s having even more fun. Here’s Marek’s first self-portrait. Oh golly, the poor kid looks just like me in this one.

We visited the Four Coins restaurant at 2700 34th Street North on 30 October 2011.

Marek is a Breakfast Team Leader, first at the door. You can see the reflection of Ivo in the window. Ivo is HONGREE. (Which is our way of saying “hungry” with a lot of North-Central-Florida inflection.)

A not-extensive but certainly not-lacking menu. Odd font on this one. At first I thought they used a printer with a fouled print head, then I realized that it’s just a fancy font. It’s readable, but did give me a moment’s pause. Probably because I’m odd enough to actually think about the concept of “font.” I’m the kind of guy who has a preference for serif vs. sans-serif (I like my fonts to have serifs, thank you very much), which means that Marek is probably NOT going to EVER introduce his girlfriends to me when he gets older.

Remember when Marek wasn’t so grown-up? Believe me, he reminds me all the time that he’s not. But sometimes it’s like he’s all done being a kid.

Here’s Marek’s new thing: Hot chocolate. No more coffee for him, no sir. (This is his mother’s influence, obviously)

Is it just me, or am I starting to resemble the professor from Back to the Future?

Our traditional coffee cheers-toast.

You may find this odd, but there’s a shoe in the middle of the floor. Equally odd, Ivo is only wearing one shoe. Marek is reconciling these two odd facts and retrieving what appears to be Ivo’s shoe. How it got there … remains a mystery.

Marek is carrying around HIS new Al Udeid travel coffee cup. Until two hours ago, this was MY new Al Udeid travel coffee cup. So it is with being a parent, yes? I guess I’ll just go travel another 7,000 miles just to get myself my own since he took this one. sigh

This spot right here … this is where we tickle Ivo. As you can see by the look on his face, that is not his favorite spot right now.

Here’s a bodacious breakfast. I went with the Greek omelet. Though I really do wonder if Greeks in, say, Thessaloniki, actually eat like this.

Does Ivo look uninspired by what’s in front of him? Don’t worry, it will end up on the floor soon enough.

Marek’s got himself a plate-o-eggs. It’s funny how now he gets flat-out excited about eggs.

Marek’s new game is eating bugs and rats and worms. He’ll hold up a fork of eggs and say dad, do you think I should eat these WORMS?! And I, as the Responsible Adult, reply, “yes.”

Ivo’s never happier than when he’s got food. Now whether that food goes down the hatch or over the fence is up to him.

Ivo’s one year old and he’s got the fine-motor-skills to use a fork to yoink my breakfast. Would you believe that his daycare sent home a note this week saying he needs to “work on his fine motor skills?”

The three of us finished up breakfast and started in on the goofing. It’s not really fair for Ivo. Since he doesn’t talk yet, it’s hard to tell if he’s having fun or getting freaked out by being over-tickled.

We had a pretty big breakfast. Fourteen clams for two big breakfasts isn’t bad. Not great, but not bad.

Marek stepped right up to get the bill sorted out.

Note the life-sized Elvis against the back wall. You know that there’s only two sizes for Elvis: life-sized and larger-than-life-sized.

Both Marek and Ivo got treats from the nice lady behind the counter. Marek’s new thing with these pops is to open it in the car, and then hand it to me while I’m driving with an “I’m all done, dad.” Like what am I supposed to do with it?

Betty Boop is guarding this door. Life-sized. She’s tall, really thin, and has a gargantuan head. As a cartoon, she’s cute. As a real-life mannequin she’s disturbing. And Marek talked on and on about “Betty Boob.”

Behind the Four Coins restaurant is this duck pond. Emergency egg supply!

These long-haul breakfasts really knock Ivo out. It’s about 45 minutes from our Breakfast HQ to the Four Coins.

It’s a long enough drive that the Breakfast Mobile started acting up. I didn’t know the vehicle had that many lights on the dash.

We had a pretty good morning at the Four Coins. Our waiter was really nice, and also he was Albanian. The Four Coins is a clean, well-lit, friendly place, and the food is done right. We’re pleased to give the Four Coins a Tampa Bay Breakfasts four pancake rating.

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